Tomorrow or (worst case) Friday I’ll wrap up Part One, before leaving the country for a few weeks. Before doing so, I wanted to say a quick thank you to some of the many individuals who’ve helped me out with this project over the past couple of years. (I know I’ll miss some- if I forgot you please speak up.)
My biggest thanks goes to those who know way more about the topics I’ve covered, but who generously gave of their time and attention to help me out, including Sally White, Professor Chuck, Rudy Drobnik, Larry St. Clair, Lloyd Stark, John Brinda, Doug M., and Christopher Taylor. Sally in particular has become a great friend, providing support, encouragement and guidance throughout the project. Doug M. (aka Smartest Reader of This Blog) also deserves special thanks for his help and insights on everything from bat wings to red dwarfs.
Speaking of friends, I’m fortunate to have made two great real-life ones through this project: KanyonKris and SkiBikeJunkie. KanyonKris, in addition to being my most faithful commenter, also spent hours proofing and catching countless typos. SkiBikeJunkie spent many hours mulling posts and topics with me while biking, hiking and skiing, and deserves special thanks, along with Kevin Vigor* and Phil O., for their outstanding guest posts last Spring. Thanks also to fellow nature blogger KB, who provided access to countless sources I could not have obtained otherwise.
*Whom I finally met in real-life over the weekend. I was driving along 1300 South, recognized him (no kidding) from his profile photo, pulled over and introduced myself.
I’m also extremely grateful to researchers who, while not directly involved in this project, made their work freely available, enabling me to learn and post about many fascinating topics. Since mid-2009 (when I got serious about listing sources) I’ve tried to be diligent in crediting/thanking these individuals in the relevant posts, but without question I have missed dozens, for which I apologize profusely. Among these I must give special thanks to Jim Kaler, whose wonderful STARS site has provided material for countless astro-posts and hours of wide-eyed reading.
Thanks also to the many commenters who provided valuable insight, help and encouragement, including, but not limited to, KristenT, Enel, mtb w, Lucy/Jube, ElZo, P65, Maggie, Marissa Buschow, El Guapo, El Gaucho, TheGuth, John, Rachel, Eric Wright, Wheeldancer, rabidrunner, Dave, MikeJ in Fremont, Chris in Portland, KathyR, Tomodactylus and a bunch of others I’m almost certainly forgetting.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Awesome Wife, who put up with me reading and typing at all hours of the night for nearly 3 years, or my many friends and coworkers who put up with my blogging about them in all kinds of posts.
But my last and most heartfelt thanks goes to a reader I won’t name, who works for a state government agency in the Eastern US. Way back when, in the summer of 2008, I was getting ready to kill this project. It was taking up a lot of cycles, I never got any comments, and it seemed like a huge time-sink. Out of curiosity, I installed one of those traffic-tracking tools, just to see if anyone was reading. Hardly anyone was, but one day a visitor from that state agency stopped by and spent 7+ hours reading just about every post I’d done to date. When I saw that, I thought, “OK, so at least someone finds this stuff interesting…” and I kept on going, learning about astronomy and geology and bugs and brains and eyes and ears and rock art and pigeons and all sorts of things I never would’ve gotten to if I’d killed the project then. So thank you, Mr./Mrs. East-Coast-State-Government-Employee. You made the whole project happen.
Next Up: Blocking, Stretching and Thinning, the Meaning of Life and I Wrap Up Part One*.
*Sounds big. I better get typing.